Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sports Saturday

I've having an unforeseen creative crisis this afternoon following a run-in with the cops that I'll get into at a later date. Let's just say that I won't be sending in any donations to the Tampa Police awards banquet anytime soon.

But fortunately, with football season only a few weeks away from kicking off, I have some grist for the mill this afternoon. Let's get into this:

1. Kerry Byrne makes an important point about the inherent bias against defenders in voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In the modern era of two-platoon football, 111 offensive players have been enshrined in Canton compared to just 67 defenders. For a league rife with so many silly platitudes, HOF voters aren't doing much to consider the old standard that "defense wins championships." Part of the problem in recent years - and something that will continue to be an issue - is the relative inflation of offensive statistics. There's no real way to measure, for instance, the true value of receivers in today's NFL as compared with guys like Harold Carmicheal who averaged 45 receptions a season.

2. This isn't exactly going out on a limb but here's a prediction: Georgia, ranked No. 1 in the preseason USA Today Top 25 coaches' poll, won't finish at the top. Want to know why? Here's a four-game stretch for the Dawgs near the end of the season: at LSU, Florida in Jacksonville, at Kentucky and at Auburn. Sheesh. Georgia could still be the nation's best team and finish the regular season 9-3. My choice for national champ - for now - is USC.

3. Isn't Central Florida football coach George O' Leary being a little silly here? Ok, a lot silly. In the end, O'Leary is only hurting his players and program with this childish boycott of the Orlando Sentinel, the only daily newspaper that covers UCF.

4. I'm really wondering why Steve Smith is being suspended for two regular-season games after punching out teammate Ken Lucas during practice Friday. Is it because Smith won the fight? Players get into scuffles during training camp all the time. Some coaches are known to encourage them, hoping to create a little energy during those summer doldrums. Of course, to be fair, I'm lacking many of the details of the fight here. I, and the rest of us, only know that Lucas took it on the nose. On another note, Smith is remarkably consistent - two fights with teammates, two broken noses. Note to self - and other Panthers - never mess with Steve Smith.
5. I can't understand Major League Baseball's reluctance to embrace Mark Cuban's billion-dollar offer to buy the Chicago Cubs. Cuban has certainly been a thorn in the side of the NBA's establishment but no one can argue the results: the Mavericks have been consistent winners and consistently entertaining since Cuban bought the team in April 2000. That should matter when all things are considered, right?

6. There's not much to say here about Brett Favre's standoff with the Green Bay Packers that hasn't already been said. But it is unfathomable that the Packers would offer, arguably, the best player in their franchise history $20 million to stay away after one of the best seasons of a career destined to be honored in Canton. I also can't imagine how the Packers brass could tell fans - with a straight face, no less - that the team will be better off with Aaron Rodgers at the helm. Maybe the Packers should consult with Herm Edwards.

That's plenty. More to come later.


Zen said...

You're hearing it hear first. USC v. Oklahoma in the national championship game.

Oklahoma KILLS em.

blackink said...

Zen, you have seen OU's defense in BCS games in recent years, right?

I don't doubt that OU can make it to the 'chip. But killing USC is something the Sooners just can't do.